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Numenta working on the future: human computer memory system

Posted by Annplugged on February 7, 2007

Erick Schonfeld from Business 2.0 has recently written an article on Numenta made by Jeff Hawkins (PalmPilot, Treo), whose vision is ‘hacking the human brain’ i.e. making a computer software that imitates a child’s trial and error learning style based upon the actual ways human use a computer: each interaction serves as an input in the database and the algorithm to be developed. My question on Erick’s blog:

Google is also using search patterns to learn from users and they have an enormous database daily expanding on the largest scale at present. And as Marissa Mayer said at DLD07 conference, the future, Google’s future, is personalized search – but I think we all expect the future to be personalized + online + bionic everything.
So Numenta could logically be a start-up potentially bought up by Google, if the software is learning quickly enough and has a large enough database for that + plus a business model to monetize on building that database (as Google’s AdWords is).
How is Numenta going to solve that very challenging task (i.e. building world-scale database _while_ generating revenue)?

One more thing, to quote from the full article the part that deals with Numenta’s financial aspects:
‘Targeted at research scientists and hard-core programmers, the license will allow people to play around with the software for free until they’re ready to create a commercial product. “We want as many people experimenting with the technology as possible,” Hawkins says’ and ‘He knows that he needs to build a community of developers around Numenta with financial incentives to help his technology succeed,’

a, I don’t think that people would play around for free, if they do not get sth very very useful in exchange (Google search works, Google Maps work, so people ‘play around with it’)
b, ‘building a community of developers’ is essential, but ‘building a community of developers’ where developers is defined as all people who contribute with their patterns of use is equally important.


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